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THE GREAT ELEVATOR CASE IN A NUTSHELL -1872

RAYMOND, JACKSON, CRANE, KNIGHT, ROOD, GRIFFITH

Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 8/23/2017 at 23:04:18

Wednesday, March 6, 1872
Paper: Dubuque Daily Times (Dubuque, Iowa)
Page: 4

THE GREAT ELEVATOR CASE IN A NUTSHELL

Everybody in the State has heard of the famous Richmond-&-Jackson-and Illinois Central Railroad Elevator case; yet few have more than a vague understanding as to what the case is.

Long before the construction of the Dunleith and Dubuque bridge, when all the grain passing east was necessarily transferred by ferryboat, (except in the winter), and elevator each side of the river became a necessity. Messrs. Richmond & Jackson accordingly erected one and the Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad agreed to make use of it in the transfer of grain. In fact, a formal contract was entered into between the parties that the D. & S. C. C. R. Co. should pay to said Richmond & Jackson one per cent, per bushel on all grain passing over said road. The contract was executed on the 22nd of August 1860, and was to run for fifteen years.

About seven years afterwards, the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad Co. leased their road to the Illinois Central Railroad Co., the later taking possession the 1st day of October, 1867. Finding it costly to pass the grain through two elevators, one of each side of the river, and the Dubuque and Dunleith Bridge being completed shortly afterwards, the Illinois Central Railroad Co. soon ceased to make any use of the elevators. They claim the extra cost of passing through the elevators over that of transferring across the bridge to be twelve to sixteen dollars per car load.

The I. C. R. R. Company not only ceased using the elevators but also refused to pay the owners thereof, in accordance with the contract of said owners with the company of which the I. C. R. R. Company leased the road.

Thereupon Richmond & Jackson sued the companies jointly - the Dubuque and Sioux City, and the Illinois Central. The first suit, was for one cent per bushel on all the grain through Dubuque by rail, but not through the elevator, during the months of November and December, 1867. The suit resulted in a judgement against the company for $4000, or thereabout. The suit was appealed to the Supreme Court, and there affirmed.

The second suit was for one cent per bushel for the grain passing over the road from Jan. 23, 1868, to May 1, 1870. This suit resulted in a judgement against the company of $57,750. It was also appealed to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the judgement below, and increased it - allowing certain charges for storage, or constructive storage, we believe to $73,186.

Furthermore the practical effect of this decision is to entitle the plaintiff to damages from May 1, 1870, not only to the present time, but till Aug. 22, 1875-the date of termination of the lease. The amount due to the present time would be between $80,000 and $100,000; and at the same rate, until the fall of 1875, would make the aggregate amount that would have to be paid to the elevator owners by the Illinois Central Railroad Company about a quarter of a million dollars.

The attorneys in this important case are Griffith & Knight for the plaintiff; Crane & Rood for the defendant.


 

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